Established 10.30.10

Established 10.30.10

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Traveling Adventures

This past week I traveled to Orlando, FL for the True Value Show that Vermeer had a booth at.  Everyone said "oh I bet the weather was wonderful"....well, I didn't get the chance to go out and enjoy it at all (obviously, working) but it was nice to walk around without jackets on to/from the convention center!  Below are a few pics of the outside of the convention center.

 I love palm trees.
 This is a portion of DeWalt's booth at the show... I took this pic for Karl :)
 I made friends with the "Genie" skylift guys and asked if I could ride one of their lifts up in the air to take pictures....they were very nice and let me!  It's hard to try to explain how big these shows are and how much stuff they have but it literally is unreal.  At this show, only True Value members were allowed to be there.  So, anyone who is a vendor for them could have a booth of products to display.  There was everything from rental equipment to nuts/bolts, rubbermaid, carhartt, swiffer, bounce houses, popcorn machies and the list goes on.
 The crazy part is that this much stuff can fit in the building and it's just one hall of the enormous convention center.
 Our booth from above.  This time it was a much smaller booth.  I got home Wednesday night and won't have to travel again until this time next year!
 This weekend we traveled with friends to Kansas City for a weekend away.  We went to lots of little shops & a mall.  We also went to Texas Roadhouse for my birthday supper and went to the spa on saturday.  Well, let me rephrase that.  The GIRLS did all of that... the boys went to Bass Pro & Cabelas.  Below is one of the little shops we went to.  Emily's sister had told her about this store and there happened to be one 2 miles from our hotel.  It was an awesome accessorie store.  They had everything arranged by color.  There was all sorts of jewerly, scarves, hats, handbags, shoes and much more-- it was like a girls dream :) 
 We went window shopping at "The Plaza" while waiting on our dinner reservations.  It was very fun to see!
 The boys had fun go-carting one night.  It was a place where their carts could go up to 40mph.  I didn't get very good pictures because it was dark and they were going very fast.
 Ahhh... the spa!  The boys dropped us off and went to Bass Pro and we endulged ourselves :)  We had plans to go last summer when the boys were on their Montana hunting trip but when that got cut short we never ended up going.  We told ourselves it was a long time coming. :)  Very relaxing!
 And yet, another very exciting thing that happened this weekend..... Rachel & Rowan came over for a visit today.  After Rowans nap he came out with a new shirt on.  Since it had a tractor I immediately was drawn to it and started reading it.....

Yay!!! Another niece or nephew!!  Baby Van Maanen is due next September.  Can't wait! :)

Hope you all had a great week-- I'm happy to be home.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine's

Last weekend we had my cousins, Kara, Kelly & Renae stay over a couple nights.  They've been asking since before Thanksgiving when they could come again and we finally made it work!  We had hoped that we could go play with the four-wheelers in the snow but since there was minmal snow and 17 degrees we decided to do fun stuff inside.  We had a great weekend making valentine's cards, cupcakes, playing candy land-Wii-Bingo-Slapjack, and ordering pizza & watching a movie.  It was a very relaxing weekend for all of us!
 Decorating Cupcakes
 It's always so fun to listen to the girls talk and it never seems to amaze me what questions come out of their mouths :)
 By the end of the weekend we had a couple of very tired girls.  Renae took a little snooze on Karl's shoulder on the way back to Sully on Sunday.
 For Valentine's Day Karl and I went Ottumwa and went to Menards.  That's it. ...Just kidding, we also went to the movie theatre and watched "The Vow".  I would classify it as a chick flick but it's not a typical love story...  It's a very good movie w/ great acting and you're just never quite sure what is going to happen next (very unpredictable).  We would definately suggest it!  Oh, and what's better for Valentine's Day Supper than movie theatre popcorn?! Yuuuuummmmy!!!!!! :)

Today we went to help Matt & Rach at their new house.  They bought a house west of Sully, off the highway and down their own dead end lane.  They have lots of little projects like: mudding cracks, texturizing, priming, painting, stripping wall paper, pulling out carpet, putting in new doors, new carpet, electrical and painting woodwork.  As with all projects, they found more to do than what they originally thought but are getting a lot done!  Below the boys were trying to figure out how to move a heat run from one side of the living room to the other.  At one point, both Karl & Matt were in the crawl space together....all it takes is teamwork ;)
 Rachel & her brother in law Mark (home for the weekend from student teaching in Denver) doing the painting & trim.
 Leah stripping wallpaper from one of the bedroom closets.  Whoever deicded to put strawberry decorative wallpaper on top of two other layers of wallpaper was out of the their mind!! Big job but got it done!
 This picture was taken on their stairs.  We got all the woodwork upstairs primed so that it can be painted white soon. 
 Karl helped out with some electrical jobs.  He replaced a few outlets. 
 Sometimes it's nice to take a break and remember why you're doing all this work.  Matt & Rachel have been living in a very small rental house since they got married (June, 2009).  They were very excited to purchase this large home!  Amongst all the paint, woodwork, chaos and mudding they have a dream, vision & most importantly eachother- which is all they need!  You're house is looking great- keep it up! :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Orleans

Blogging is one of the things I do in my free time, to relax, and make myself laugh!  A week or so ago I got a text that said "your blog is boring lately, you need to update!".  Well, I haven't updated in a while because I haven't had free time so here is a summary of our last few weeks!

A couple girls and I got a freezer meal group started.  I spent a few nights gathering recipes, organizing/creating a master grocery list and finally, getting the groceries.  That was probably the most stressful 2 hours I've ever spent in Hy-Vee....and I thought I was organized before going in!  It's a good thing I had wrote on my sheet 8oz = 1 cup and quarts conversions etc.  We made 80 meals in right around 3 hours.  It was awesome!  Now all I have to do it set the meal out before I leave for work and throw it in the oven when I get home.  Yay for less prep time at night! It'll make my night seem so much longer :)

A few weekends ago Karl & I went to the Farm Bureau Young Farmers Conference in Des Moines.  My favorite part was listening to Aaron Thomas speak on courage and passion.  It applied not only to the farm but to everything in life.  He used the F5 tornado that went through Parkersburg that destroyed their town and the shooting of his father, Ed Thomas, coach of Applington Parkersburg football team ,to make his points.  If you ever get the chance to listen to him-- I'd highly recommend it!!  We just got the judges comments yesterday from Karl's evaluation of how he participated in the discussion meet.  They went something like this : " Talk more, don't let other people talk over you, keep your hands out of your back pocket, very intelligent- speak more because what you have to say is correct, very knowledgeable about topics".  This made me laugh.  Karl would never interupt someone, always talks with his hands in his back pocket, is very smart but is definately a thinker rather than a speaker.  We decided the discussion meet is only 1/2 knowledge of topic and 1/2 ability to compete.  He had fun and that's all that matters :)

We've also been staying busy with youth group every Wednesday night.  It seems like the lessons and activites take just as much work as the other to plan/prepare for!

Last week Karl went with my dad and some others on a serve project trip to Cary, MS to roof a couple houses.  They went in my dad's semi and took the Cary trailer down to deliver the donated goods to the center.  They seemed to have a fun time and thought it was a nice short trip to get some work done. 

My plans got unexpectedly changed when a co-worker had a funeral to attend and could no longer attend the American Rental Association (ARA) show in New Orleans....so, I got asked to take her place and was on my way. 

Our travel day started out fine for Des Moines (except for realizing 2 miles after the airport exit that we had missed it... oops! we were talking...) and our plane was on time.  We loaded the plane and it seemed to take at least 20 minutes to de-ice it before take-off...meanwhile we were realizing we are going to be pushing it once we arrive in Dallas as we only had a 45 minute layover.  Sure enough, once we got to Dallas it took an extra 5 (very long) minutes for someone to come and hook the gate thing to the plane for us to get out.  While looking at our watches and realizing we have about 10 minutes to get to our next plane we came to a sign in the airport where it said Gates A,B,C,D ---> ... and Gate A1-A34 <--- ... well, we took the 2nd of the two options which was apparently the long way around the airport.  We literally began running (yes, on those fast moving walkway gliding things) and as I'm watching my boss run in high heeled wedges on this I'm thinking to myself "this is going to make a great blog story!".  I didn't have time to stop and take a picture but I sure wanted to (I wanted to reinact it later but never did that either).  Anyway, we ended up at our gate with "final boarding call" flashing on the screen.  We made it!  Convinced our luggage didn't make the plane, we landed in New Orleans and it was there!  We then took "the cab ride of death" where I literally thought that after riding w/ a crazy driver going 95 mph in 5 lane traffic that my life was going to be over but we miraculously made it to the hotel.  Just in time to go to "Mannings" restaurant where we watched the Super Bowl and ate dinner w/ co-workers.  Mannings is owned by the Manning family so it was fun to eat there and watch the owner play! :)

Below is the convention center where the show was held.

The picture does not do justice to how incredibly enormous this place was but it had to have been at least 1 mile long.  The building is just unreal! 

Here is our "cell".  The big open part of the booth with all the equipment was right outside the door.  This small backroom is where the salesman would come in and get a quote for the customer.  I referred to us as the "intelligence room".  haha!  We had our 3 laptops and one small printer to get all the quoting/ordering done.  It was a very fun experience and I got to meet a lot of our dealers from across the U.S. so that was fun too! (they were there to meet some of their rental customers)  I email them frequently but it was fun to put a face w/ the name!

Jodi (right) & Lori (leftt)
And in case you noticed, yes, 3 blondes were the ones in charge of all the financials... exactly how it should be haha!!

The large sign hanging above our booth.   I forget to take a picture of the side w/ all the equipment in it but literally this little room was where we spent our entire 3 days!
And of course we had to mix pleasure with business.  Us girls (the only ones there) went out to Hard Rock Cafe, had a delicious meal....and then shared 3 deserts :)
Off to Bourbon Street we went!  We had to see what it was all about... and trust me, I saw more than I wanted too!  I can now say I've been there but that's about all I have to say about the place :)
Of course we had to rummage through the trinket shops and find some goodies... Megan and I were going to wear these at the show but decided maybe it wouldn't be "professional". Got some pretty good laughs from the girls though!
Boubon Street.... NOT where 2 Sully girls should be hanging out....
Megan, Lori, Ashley
Have I mentioned yet that New Orleans smells, stinks, reaks, and is dirty?! Well, it is.  I wanted to give them a break and say that it was due to the hurricane... but that was a long time ago!  Even our hotel smelled funky.  The streets are dirty, the buildings are old and not well kept and only half of the restaurants look safe to eat in.

Ahh... we had to drive 20 minutes but we found what looked like a nice fine dining establishment.  Landrey's Seafood & Steakhouse. (I just like the palm trees)
One of our co-workers had offered to take us here with a couple of the dealers and so we thought this would be a lot of fun! So much for the "fine dining establishment"...Little did I know that this is what I JUST ABOUT put in my mouth!!! (below pic) I'm not much a seafood person... who am I kidding, I'm possibly one of the pickiest eaters I know (I like to think I just have fine taste).  Anyway, they ordered some appetizers.  I knew it was some sort of fish but it looked like mini onion rings, (calamari I think?) so I could eat that covered in tartar sauce... and then I got to a clump of "onion rings".  I thought to myself, hmmm that's kinda strange.  Then they tell me that it's squid and I thought they were pulling my leg (ha, pun intended ... or 8 legs... haha!!) so I peeled off all the fried pieces and this is what I found... a little squid. EWWWWWWWW!!!! I drew the line at that and was DONE being adventerous with my eating habits. 
Do you see the fish in the back ground of this one?  I was eating a dip w/ chips ( I told myself it was finely shredded chicken dip) and then I got to a big chunk andit was a little minnow and once again, I drew the line there.  No more seafood.
This is what one of the guys ordered.  Soft shelled crab.  How could you even put that in your mouth?!!?!  I like steak and hamburgers but when I eat it it's definately not in the shape of a cow... EWWWW!

Needless to say my horizons were opened quite a bit and it was fun going somewhere I had never been.  It was a great trip, great learning experience, nice change from the office and now I feel more prepared for my trip to Orlando next week!

Sorry for the extremely long post! :)  Have a great week! :)